A biodegradable testosterone microcapsule formulation provides uniform eugonadal levels of testosterone for 10-11 weeks in hypogonadal men

Shalender Bhasin, Ronald S. Swerdloff, Barbara Steiner, Margaret A. Peterson, Tessie Meridores, Mirta Galmirini, Murugan R. Pandian, Ronald Goldberg, Nancy Berman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

100 Scopus citations


Limitations of presently available testosterone esters (enanthate and cypionate) include the fluctuating serum testosterone levels and the need for relatively frequent injections (every 10-21 days). These limitations of testosterone esters have prompted the development of more physiological and longer acting systems for androgen delivery. This paper reports pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic data with a second generation long-acting testosterone microcapsule formulation in hypogonadal men. This was a single dose, open label, nonrandomized study. Ten hypogonadal men with primary (n = 6) or secondary (n = 4) hypogonadism, otherwise in good health, received 630 mg microencapsulated testosterone in dextran solution (IM) on day 1. Serum total and free testosterone; LH; FSH; dihydrotesterone; estradiol; sex hormone-binding globulin; total cholesterol; high, low, and very low density lipoprotein cholesterol; triglycerides; and apoprotein-AII and -B were measured on multiple occasions during the 2-week control period and the 16-week treatment period. In addition, on days 0, 1, 28, 56, and 84, subjects were hospitalized for detailed hormone analyses over the 24-h period. Serum total and free testosterone levels rose quickly into the midnormal range and stayed uniformly in the eugonadal range for about 70-77 days, after which serum testosterone levels declined gradually into the hypogonadal range. Testosterone release from the microcapsule formulation over the first 10 weeks approximated zero order kinetics. Serum dihydrotestosterone levels rose into the normal range, and testosterone to dihydrotestosterone ratios remained in the physiological range. Serum estradiol levels rose and stayed in the midnormal male range. Serum sex hormone-binding globulin levels decreased significantly during treatment. Serum LH and FSH levels also significantly decreased in the six hypergonadotropic men. Total cholesterol low and very low density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglyceride levels did not change, but plasma high density lipoprotein cholesterol levels decreased significantly during treatment. These data indicate that testosterone microcapsule formulation provides uniform eugonadal levels of testosterone for about 10 weeks. The long duration and zero order kinetics make it an attractive alternative to existing methods of androgen replacement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-83
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1992


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical

Cite this